Over the course of the weekend flagging the USAC .25 Generation Next race in Hagerstown, Maryland my mind was always going back to the blog post from Thursday and the ignorance of those people. I mean, who are those people that are so mean for no reason?
The racing went long on Sunday so I only got to my sister's house in Indy (arrived just shy of 3AM) and then this morning I headed home. Quickly on the drive I was starting to feel anxious and trapped as I have been in a car for too much time over the past three months so I decided to break up the monotony by playing golf.
I quickly began to find a suitable course and I was getting excited because I love playing golf at small town courses because I believe people are nicer at those type of courses. Big city courses are often hectic, much like a big city, so I do try and play at smaller courses (or big city courses when it's 100 degrees outside and I'm the only fool foolish enough to play in that type of heat).
When I got to the course I instantly thought about last year's dramatic episode on a course in Indy and I was so looking forward to a quick round and then a drive home. Well, as my luck would have it there was an "outing" on the course, a 10 team scramble but the lady at the counter said it'd be no problem.
Quickly I found out that it wasn't a problem at all. Each time I caught up to a team they were more than happy to let me play through. This is why I like small towns! Eventually though I caught up to the majority of teams and there was no getting through and I felt the time ticking away. I wanted to play golf, but I also wanted to be home. When I got to hole 14 I noticed I could skip to 16 and there was nobody there all the way to 18 so I skipped ahead.
Things were going great and I reached hole 18 and I teed the ball up, I looked down the fairway, addressed the ball and swung. As the ball left my club and I looked ahead I noticed a golf cart parking on the left side of the fairway near some trees. I thought nothing of this as I watched my ball sail. It was my best drive of the day although I thought it might have been a bit to the left, but I was proud of the distance.
I drove down the cart path planning this evening's blog post when I got near that parked golf cart. Now, I have no idea where they came from or what hole they were on (they certainly weren't on 18) but as I slowly approached with the inquisitive look on my face as if to say, "where's my ball" the driver of that cart looked at me and said, "Dude!"
Dude. There's a lot of things that can come from dude. Like, "Dude, nice shot." or "Dude, are you lost." and then again maybe he was just saying "Dude." for the sake of saying dude. I was at a loss as to what he was wanting or stating so I stopped the cart and stared at him blankly. "Dude!" he said again and there was a pause as if we were waiting for me to reply, which I didn't, because I didn't know how to.
"Okay" he said with a prolonged voice, "dude, your ball landed right there" and as he said that he pointed to about a foot to the right of his cart and at this point in time the vulgarity began. I will not use those words on here, but every other word had some sort of nasty word preceding it. "See that right there? Your ball landed right there. Right there! Are you hearing me?"
Was I hearing him? I was but my body was in panic mode. I was just as paralyzed then as I was when I was trying to figure out the definition of "dude." I tried to respond but I couldn't because I was processing too many things; one of which was what my escape plan would be because he kept slowly rising as if he were about to head towards me. He then said, "So, are you hearing me?" and I thought to myself and I just about said this, "Well, that's what happens when you drive and then park when someone is hitting, but why are you mad? Yes, why are you mad? What right do you have to be mad? Were you hit? NO! I've nearly been hit today on four separate holes but was I mad? Nope, so why are you mad?"
Why are you mad? That question kept circling through my brain when everything was derailed when the driver turned to the person in the passenger seat and said, "What's with this guy? Is he stupid? Deaf? I think he's stupid." Instantly my mind went back in time to last August and the complete feeling of being powerless. I now had no idea what to do and my blank staring at him continued which just made him madder and madder.
With that barrage of verbal insults I stepped on the gas and was done. I had been verbally abused long enough and I don't know what that man's problems were but I knew if I stayed there any longer I would be the root of everything wrong in his life. Even as I got to my ball 20 yards away I could still hear him bashing every ounce of my being and my intellect and my awkwardness and the fact that I had slip on dress shoes on and I glanced back and I could see the passenger staring off into space as if he wanted to be anywhere but there. I shared that feeling 100%.
I thought about picking up my ball and leaving, but that would be letting the bully win, right? I hastily made my shot so as to not antagonize the mad man behind me and I hope he saw my shot because it was a beauty that sailed high into the midwestern air and came raining down onto the green about 4 feet from the pin. I turned back to the man with a sly smirk but I did so so fast that I don't know if he saw me or the shot, but I got to the green, made my birdie putt, and quickly vacated the area. Then it hit me and I felt scared, alone, and isolated.
The feelings grew and grew and grew. Why did this happen? How can people be so mean? I then realized I met the type of person that puts those comments I mentioned in Thursday's post. I was now torn internally because I felt belittled, abused, and to be honest I felt somewhat less of a person, but at the same time I know I met the enemy face-to-face. I met intolerance and ignorance. As bad as I felt I quickly came around and realized this person was the type of person that needs to be reached the most. Of course I have no idea how to do so because even if I gave the best presentation in the world and he was there he probably wouldn't take one bit of info away. And this is something I don't understand because, as I asked earlier, how can people be so mean? How can something so accidental set someone off so fast? I wish I knew the answer and I wish people could just be more understanding regardless the situation. If people were this entire world would be a much better place. As for now my memories are filled with the angry golfer on the 18th hole and to that man, wherever he may be, I say, "Dude! I hope you read this someday!"